Eighty-nine food and beverage outlets in Singapore have decided to remove shark's fin soup and other food products made out of it from their menus over the course of this year. From now, these dishes will be served only upon request from the customers, and this news has been confirmed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
This new move by restaurants has been widely welcomed by environmentalists, as it will help to address the serious threat that shark fishing poses. As per a study conducted in 2013, it has been learned that more than 100 million sharks are killed each year to meet the growing demand for shark's fin. Experts believe that removing shark fin's soup from the menu of the restaurants will reduce its demand, thus saving these marine creatures from the face of extinction.
"This move signals a collective effort by the food and beverage industry to address the serious threat that shark fishing poses," said WWF in a recently issued press release.
Some of the noted names that have agreed to remove shark's fin products from their menu include food delivery company Food Panda, Accor Hotels, Pan Pacific Hotels Group, and Christian Jade Culinary Concepts. In the absence of shark's fin soup, restaurants will offer alternatives which include fish maw soup with crab meat, bird's nest soup and sea cucumber.
Singapore is one of the largest importers of shark's fin in the world and its soup is a traditional delicacy which is being widely consumed by people in the nation. Between 2005 to 2013, the country 14,134 tonnes of shark's fin which clearly indicates the country's affinity towards this food product. Apart from Singapore, the largest consumers of shark's fin are Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, and Taiwan.
Elaine Tan, the chief executive of WWF said that maintaining a healthy shark population in the ocean is very much essential to stabilize the marine ecosystem. Tan also revealed that the decline in shark's population will make it hard to access seafood, and it will drastically affect the healthy diet of Singaporean population that solely depends on marine food as a protein source.